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EU Project "School of the Future" - Refurbishment of School Buildings Toward Zero Emission with High-Performance Indoor Environment

: Erhorn-Kluttig, Heike; Erhorn, Hans; Kempe, Stephan; Höfle, Christoph; Görres, Jürgen; Engelund Thomsen, Kirsten

American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers. Transactions 122 (2016), No.1, pp.315-325
ISSN: 0891-8295
American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE Winter Conference) <2016, Orlando/Fla.>
European Commission EC
FP7; 260102; School of the Future
Journal Article, Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IBP ()

The aim of the "School of the Future" project (, which receives funding within the EU's 7th Framework Program, is to design, demonstrate, evaluate, and communicate shining examples of how to reach the future high-performance building level. School buildings, their owners, and their primary users, namely students, i.e., the next generation, are the focus of the project. The energy and indoor environment performance of four demonstration buildings in four European countries and climates have been significantly improved due to holistic retrofits of the building envelope, their service systems, and the integration of renewables and building management systems. It is anticipated that the results of the project and the associated research and dissemination efforts will support others dealing with building retrofits, and will thereby have a multiple impact on other schools and on the residential sector since the students will act as communicators to their families. Training sessions specifically tailored to their needs have improved user behavior and awareness of energy efficiency and indoor environment. The success is measured by how well the retrofits meet the following goals: - Reduction of the total energy use > factor of 3, verified through monitoring; - Reduction of the heating energy use > 75%, verified through monitoring. The improvement of the indoor environment quality (air, daylight, acoustic, thermal comfort) and the associated impact on the students' performance will be analyzed by short-term measurements and questionnaires. The work of the local integrated planning teams responsible for retrofitting the demonstration buildings at each city (Stuttgart, Germany; Cesena, Italy; Ballerup, Denmark; and Drammen, Norway) was mirrored by the Design Advice and Evaluation Group, which is comprised of all industry and research partners of the project. Highlights of the retrofit technologies applied in the four schools include: strongly improved thermal quality of the opaque building envelope components, triple-glazed windows (also in a listed building, i.e., a historic, heritage protected building), automatically controlled natural ventilation system based on CO2 sensors, co-generation unit, ground-coupled heat pump, sub-division of heating circuits, and heating and ventilation system operation adapted to the actual room use, roof-top mounted photovoltaic systems, LED lighting, removal of an external brick façade plus addition of insulation and new lightweight façade envelope, etc. This paper provides an introduction into the EU project. It includes all results and a comparison of the four demonstration buildings, as well as a more detailed description of the German demonstration project.